Service Number: 1697
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 7th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Lucknow, Orange, NSW, November 1894
Home Town: Lucknow, Orange Municipality, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Memorials: Orange Lucknow Football Club Honor Roll, Orange WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

20 Dec 1915: Involvement Private, 1697, 7th Light Horse Regiment, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '2' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Aeneas embarkation_ship_number: A60 public_note: ''
20 Dec 1915: Embarked Private, 1697, 7th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Aeneas, Sydney

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Biography contributed by Cornerstone College

The battlefront...

Bert Beasley was assigned to the 7th Light Horse Regiment under the service number 1697. This was raised in October 1914 in Sydney involving men who had registered in New South Wales. His unit embarked on board the HMAT A60 Aeneas on the 20th of December 1915 from Sydney. Bert was soon transferred to the 10th Field Artillery Brigade where he went on to serve in Egypt to support the newly raised 4th division in defence of the Western Front. The 10th FAB dominated the battlefield. Artillery had been described by Napoleon Bonaparte as “the God of War” because of the effect it brought and the power it had in battle. The 10th FAB was raised in 1916 to join the Australian Imperial Force following the end of the Battle of Gallipoli. They then went on to see service on the Western Front of France and Belgium where they began to prepare for their first major battle of the war.

Before he left for the war...

Bert came from Lucknow in the city of Orange in New South Wales. It was here he worked as a labourer, working in construction and on the land to support himself. He didn’t live with his family and was unmarried and without a partner. His only known family was his mother, Mrs Margret Beasley who lived in Chippendale, Sydney. She was put down as his next of kin. He was also religious, being Christian and his religious domain was the Church of England. He had blue eyes with fair hair and skin. Upon signing up for the army, he weighed 63.5kg and was 5ft and 7 inches tall. He registered on the 23rd of August 1915 at the age of 21.

Life/service on the Western Front...

Bert’s brigade, the 10th Field Artillery Brigade was assigned to the 3rd Division. This was comprised of four battalions- the 37th, 38th, 39th and 40th. In July 1916 Bert’s brigade sailed to England where they undertook training before joining the fight on the Western Front. He then went on Armentières in France and then undertook patrols in no-mans-land and minor raids in the German trenches during the winter months. In early 1917 the brigade moved to the front line in Belgium, which would be their first major battle of the war. During 1917 Bert’s brigade took part in the fighting at Messines in June, the Battle of Broodseide and the Battle of Passchendaele in October. It was here Bert was wounded in action whilst in his role as ‘driver’. He then spent some time in hospital before re-joining his brigade in early December of 1917.

During the collapse of the Russian resistance on the Eastern Front in early 1918 (thanks to the help of the 10th brigade’s battalions who had remained around Armentières throughout the winter) Bert was checked into hospital as being ‘sick’, However he soon returned to action in mid-April. In August the Allies launched their Hundred Days offensive- in which the10th FAB advanced through the Somme Valley. They also got partly involved in actions at Proyart, Bray and Clery. As there were so many casualties before the end of the war, the brigade was forced to reduce itself to its three infantry battalions becoming one - the 37th. Among the deceased, Bert was discharged and sent home on the 1st of May 1919. He disembarked on the 11th of June, and returned home to Sydney via China.